III. Growing

"I saw your lights from the road."

"I left them on for you."

Both of them remembered another night, and with a beautiful smile on her face, she opened the door wider until he could step in.

He smelled like cold and night air, but his features were calm, his eyes unguarded. He wore jeans and a casual shirt, his handsome face smooth and at peace.

"You want a beer?"

"Yes, please."

Watching her while she made her way to the fridge, Booth felt as if another fragment of his being fell back into place. Slowly he walked to her couch, taking a seat. Handing him the cold bottle, she made one more detour to fetch her own glass of wine.

"Am I disturbing anything?"

She shook her head.

"No, I was just writing."

"How is it going?"

"Fine. The deadline for my first draft is next month, and I'm very confident."

"So soon? I didn't know."

Booth was truly surprised to find out how much he had missed about her daily life.

"Well, we hadn't had a chance to talk properly in a while."

There was no blame in her voice, it was just a statement – nevertheless, he felt sorry for so many wasted moments.

"I've missed it, Bones. This. Us."

"Me too..."

Both took a sip of their respective beverages and comfort covered them like a cozy blanket.

"You had a nice trip?"

Booth nodded.

"Yeah, it was good to catch up with Pops. The old guy has a refreshing view on things."

"I like him," she stated, remembering the charming old man.

A soft smile tugged at his lips.

"He likes you as well. You know, he's never been so fond of Hannah, though."

"Well, maybe Hank just didn't know her. She is very likeable."

Booth shrugged.

"He met you first; I think that was the mistake."

Her head flung around.

"Mistake?"

Taking another sip, he pondered his choice of words.

"No, not a mistake. Just the reason. I suppose there is simply no one who can bear comparison with you."

Still confused, she frowned.

"I think that was a compliment."

"Yes, it was."

"Then... thank you."

"Bones, I..." he rubbed his face with his palm, unsure how to continue.

"I want to apologize for so many things, but I don't know how."

She looked at him with a serious facial expression.

"Can't we just say we're even?"

"Do you really think we're even?"

"Well, I hurt you by saying, 'No᾽."

"I didn't listen to your reasons and came back with another woman."

"I pretended as if I didn't care."

"I refused to see how much it affected you."

"I let you stay with me that night."

"I stayed."

"Do you regret it?"

Even though she was afraid of his answer, she had to know.

"It should have felt wrong, and I regret the betrayal. But being with you," he searched her eyes, "I could never regret that. Do you?"

"No, I feel the same."

"I have a confession to make."

She arched an eyebrow at him, feeling anxious again.

"Huh?"

"I love your body."

A wholehearted laughter left her mouth, and her eyes were smiling.

"The feeling is mutual, Booth."

He chuckled, nudging her with his shoulder.

Suddenly it seemed as if she was sitting too far away, and his features got serious anew.

"May... may I hold you?"

"Yes, oh, yes!"

Taking his bottle from him, she placed their beverages on the table, turning to him.

He simply looked at her for a moment, drinking her in, before he outstretched his hand.

She not only accepted it but crawled into his lap until their chests were pressed to each other. His arms closed around her back, cradling her tenderly, and while he buried his face in her hair, he gently rocked her.

"Hmm..."

Stroking her back until he could cup her nape with his palm, he inhaled her deeply.

"I love your scent. I think I'd recognize you with eyes closed everywhere."

"There is a scientific explanation for that, Booth," she murmured, "but something tells me you're not interested in it. Maybe what you'd like to hear is that I react to your scent as well. I love the after-shave you only wear on special occasions, and underneath the detergent and your shower gel there's just Booth."

He placed a kiss next to her ear.

"Yes, I like hearing that."

"Do you want to hear more?"

"Whatever you want to tell me, Bones."

Wrapping her arms around his neck, she rested her head on his shoulder.

"I love your strength. You make me feel safe, and although I'm not as strong as you are, I want to give you the same feeling."

Nuzzling her neck with his lips, he whispered.

"You do."

"Your voice. It's very soothing, and the things you say are always worth being listened to. I want you to be proud of me."

"I am."

Rubbing her nose against his cheek, she closed her eyes in sheer pleasure.

"I love your honesty and loyalty."

"Yeah, I'm working on that."

She didn't miss his bitter tone.

"Booth, I'm as guilty as you are. Do you think she can ever forgive us?"

"She already did. She's very gracious."

"Maybe I should write to her."

"Give it time, Bones."

Brennan had to close her eyes for the next confession.

"I'm scared I might not be worth it. What you gave up to be with me."

She felt his arms clenching around her.

"Won't happen. You complete me. Without you, there is no way I can be whole. You're in this with me, right?"

She nodded vehemently.

"Yes, I," her voice was hoarse but sincere, "I love you. I want to be with you."

If she had been brave enough to lift her head, Brennan would have seen the glow of pure joy on his face, his eyes lightning up exactly like a very smart observer had described it. But she wasn't brave enough, and so she simply listened to his heartbeat, strong and reassuring.

"Say it again."

His demand stirred her, and this time she dared leaving her comfort zone on his shoulder, looking into his eyes.

"I love you."

Mesmerized by the warmth that radiated from him, Brennan felt as if her chest was too tight.

"And I love you, Bones. Always."

His smile was her own, and when he closed the distance between their heads, she didn't shut her eyes, spellbound by the intensity in his gaze.

His lips were soft and real, brushing over her – once, twice – until they finally pressed firmly against hers, encouraging her to welcome him. And welcome she did – his breath, his velvety tongue, his love.

Cradling his face in her palms, she held him in place while he deepened the kiss until she lost herself completely in her partner.

They were sitting like this for a long while – kissing and stroking and rocking – carried by wings that were so mighty, so dazzling that the rest of the world seemed to be small and unimportant in comparison.

When they finally broke apart, there was pure heat in his gaze, as he tucked an unruly strand of hair behind her ear.

In silent agreement she lifted her arms until he could pull the sweater over her head, ruining his former attempt to smooth her hair. His shirt was next, and she opened the buttons without procrastination.

Her hands roaming over his chest, she admired the broadness and the perfect structure of his muscles underneath her fingertips. Unable to resist, she brought her lips to his collarbone, sucking gently.

He moaned, and the sound of it shot liquid energy straight to her core. It had been a while since Brennan had gotten that wet by listening to a man, and she breathed deeply, embracing the sensation.

Then his hands were traveling down her arms until they closed around her wrists. He could encircle them effortlessly, and she felt so female and desirable faced with his size.

His tongue was tracing patterns along her jawline, and she tilted her head to give him better access.

Grinding against him, she could feel him growing between her legs, and primal longing flooded her. A gasp left her mouth, followed by his name.

He lifted his head to look into her eyes.

"You're so beautiful, Temperance."

"So are you, Booth."

"Let me make love to you."

"Yes, please."

Getting rid of their trousers wasn't easy, but neither of them was willing to leave their current position, and finally nothing more than their underwear separated them. Booth could feel her heat where she was settled on top of him, and he couldn't stop himself from rocking into her from below.

"Oh, Booth..."

Her bra was next, and he unclasped the dark blue garment expertly until her breasts were bare to his eyes.

Soft curves, milky white skin, dusky areolas.

He took his time to worship this female part of her, and she had almost reached a point of impatience when he finally closed his lips around one hard nipple. Grazing the other one with his thumb, Booth gently circled her with his tongue, then swapped.

It was perfect, just perfect.

Brennan could have made an oath that there was a direct connection from her breasts to her lower belly, and she spread her legs in anticipation, eager to feel him closer.

Eventually, her own hand found its way into his boxers, gently brushing over his satiny length. He was hard and hot, and she had to grip him tighter.

His head fell to her shoulder, and his cry was muffled by her own flesh as his teeth sunk into her, marking her. The pain was distant and only heightened her arousal.

His own hands slid around her back to her buttocks, and without warning her squeezed her, pushing her hard against his own body.

Twin moans filled the air between them, their lips searching for each other anew, and when his fingers brushed alongside the seam of her panties, she closed her eyes in pleasant anticipation.

Two more tentative strokes, and finally he tucked the fabric aside, making contact with overheated skin. He groaned as he felt the wetness pooling at the juncture of her legs, unable not to bury his finger deep inside of her for the first time.

Her eyes flew open – baby blue burning into dark chocolate brown – and he observed her reactions to his touch, completely in awe and over the moon in love with her. Her pupils were dilated, her cheeks flushed, a few damp tendrils stuck to her brow.

Had he not been convinced that she was the most beautiful woman ever, he would be by now.

Stroking her without haste, Booth savored the way she squirmed on top of him, utterly adorable and so hot.

"Bones, one day we need to have a serious talk about that open heart you claimed not to have – but not now."

His words barely made it through the fogs of desire that were clouding her mind, but once they sunk in, she simply smiled.

"I can assure you that I feel very... open right now."

He kissed her with a smile.

"Come for me, Babe."

Her brow furrowed in protest.

"No! Not like this. I want to feel you inside of me."

"And you will. But please, Temperance, give me this one," he whispered.

He was stroking her in earnest now, a second finger joining in the first, his thumb flickering over her most sensitive spot.

She whimpered.

"This is not fair."

"All is fair in love and war, my dear."

Weakness invaded her limbs, soon replaced by a very familiar tingle that started deep inside her body.

"Booth..."

"Sh, it's okay, I've got you. Come for me."

He could feel her muscles contract, and a third finger came into play, stretching her fully.

"You're mean..." she was able to utter, before ecstasy overwhelmed her and she pulsated uncontrollably around his fingers.

Swallowing her gasps with his mouth, he continued to pleasure her; her fluids covering his hand as he dove in and out of her until the clenching of her inner muscles finally subsided, leaving her boneless and spent.

"Thank you, Temperance, thank you."

He showered her head with feather-light kisses and terms of endearment, grateful for her trust and her passion.

When she was able to move again, she lifted her head, regarding him with faked grudge.

"That was malicious."

"No, Baby, that was amazing. You are... wow. Just wow."

He smiled at her so adoringly that she couldn't maintain her upbraiding.

"Well, I'll consider forgiving you."

Winking, he leaned closer to her.

"Phew, such a relief."

"Now you're smirking, but wait until I fall asleep on you when we make love."

The unrestrained passion in his kiss took her by surprise.

"Won't happen."

Without much ado he lifted her to remove her soaked panties – soon followed by his own boxers – and when she settled back on top of him, they were skin to skin with no barrier left.

Raising her one more time, he aligned himself properly, and when he lowered her, she gripped him like a tailor-made glove, inch by sweet inch, until they were completely joined.

Her head fell to his shoulder, her arms clutching his back.

"Oh..."

"That's it. You feel it?"

Nodding wildly, she agreed with all her heart. This could never be explained by brain chemistry or logic. This was pure, eternal, primordial. Everything. Just it.

"I love you."

She sobbed, but he heard her and caught her.

"I love you more."

"Not possible."

He cupped her chin with his fingers, forcing her eyes to focus.

"You wanna argue?"

Shaking her head vigorously, she almost cried.

"Hell, no!"

Laughing and kissing and feeling, Booth started to rock in perfect synchrony with her – in a dance as old as the wind and every boat that had ever sailed the ocean.

His movements were slow but steady, as he gripped her hips to support her swaying circles.

Her skin felt so warm where he made contact with her; as if energy was streaming from his body into hers and right back – until everything around them was humming and vibrating.

Searching for his lips, she kissed him with desperate force, biting his lower lip until he growled and his thrusts got more erratic and powerful.

Then she felt him getting harder and impossibly harder inside of her – and his eyes were glued to hers in shock and agony, as he tried to delay the inevitable, but this time she was ready to catch him, so she gently caressed his face.

"It's okay, Booth, you can fall. I'm here."

Unable to resist her sweet words, his tremors vibrated through her, and when he exploded deep inside of her, the power of his release took her breath away until they were both falling and catching each other.

Like it had always been.

-BONES-

Later, much later that night, Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan were intertwined in each other underneath the private comfort of her blankets. Moonlight was their only witness as sleepiness got the best of them, and love and peace were lingering in the air.

With vulnerability one can only feel in the surreal moments between wake and dream, she pressed her face closer into his chest, kissing the scarred spot next to his shoulder blade.

"I'm so glad you saw my lights."

He placed a gentle peck on her hairline, and even in the blissful slumber that followed, Brennan couldn't stop smiling.

The End

Okay, I'm anxious. What do you think?